In Louisville, opportunities to explore creative and professional outlets exist for people at nearly any stage of their lives and careers. Professionals are encouraged to continue to learn and push themselves in order to develop new skills and insights or to make an impact on the community. Programs exist for collegiate interns, the entering young workforce, up-and-coming leaders, and everyone in between. And now, that includes retiring or transitioning seasoned veterans. Stand up for their encore, please.
The Leadership Louisville Center introduced its Encore Louisville program to the community in 2014. About to begin its third year, the program is designed to connect participants with retiring and transitioning civic leaders in an advisory capacity as they work with non-profit organizations that need help tackling strategic issues. In other words, the leaders find an outlet where they can put their knowledge to good use and give back to the community; participants get to learn from the leaders and tackle real-life problems, and worthy non-profits gain assistance from leaders at the highest level in their respective fields.
“There are so many great community leaders with so many years of service, so many years of leadership, they’ve been so involved in the community, but maybe they’re now transitioning out of what was their primary career,” explained Aaron Miller, director of Programs at the Leadership Louisville Center. “The idea is what if you could capitalize on all that amazing brain power to help, to give back?”
The program is spread out into four program days over the course of 12 months. By the end, it’s anticipated that between 15 and 20 projects will be completed. More than 30 projects were completed in the first two years, benefiting such non-profits as the Kids Cancer Alliance, the YMCA of Greater Louisville and the St. John Center for Homeless Men.
This year, Northwestern Mutual is signing on in a support capacity to take Encore Louisville to new heights, bringing additional value and perspective to an already thriving program.
Meg Gatti, chief marketing officer at Northwestern Mutual, explained: “As the teams go through and they evaluate the projects, we’ll take a look at those and we’ll just offer to be a resource. We will happily supply whatever we can.”
Miller and the entire team at the Leadership Louisville Center are excited to see where this additional support will take the program.
“This is a very low-cost program for the participants, there’s a very low cost to the non-profits, and so just by Northwestern Mutual helping underwrite the staff time, the materials, the coffee for the participants when they together, that is huge, huge help,” Miller said. “Northwestern Mutual is great about providing meeting space, and Meg and the team at Northwestern Mutual have been great at helping evaluate the projects and helping evaluate outcomes, and really sitting at the table with us as decisions are made about the direction of the program.”
Northwestern Mutual has partnered with the Leadership Louisville Center for many years, but this will be the first year it has worked directly with the Encore Louisville program.
“We’ve always looked for ways we can support [the Leadership Louisville Center] holistically, and it kind of felt like it was a good time to put our efforts into the development of this program,” Gatti said. “A number of our clients are executives or retired business owners, and they like to know that there’s a program where they can take their professional skill set, their professional experience, and be able to apply that in a retirement for a sense of purpose, a sense of fulfillment, as well as to give back to the community. It was this perfect fit.”
The deadline to apply to the Encore Louisville program has not yet passed. Participants can apply to be in the program through October 17, while non-profit applications to work with the program will extend later into the year. Encore Louisville can assist non-profits with everything from marketing strategies and programming to reviewing strategic plans, board development and succession planning. Interested non-profits are encouraged to reach out to the Leadership Louisville Center with questions or to fill out an application online. VT
For more information, visit leadershiplouisville.org or contact the Leadership Louisville Center at 502.561.0458.
Story by Breanna Price | Courtesy photo